Saturday, August 27, 2011

Viva Lost Vegas

(The world famous strip)
I've spent roughly 20 years living in or around the world famous city of Las Vegas. The bright lights (the brightest city in the world as seen from Space)! Gambling! Casinos! Ridiculous summer heat! Swarms of drunken tourists screaming and falling over themselves! Indeed, I call this den of madness my home town. In fact, I was BORN here which is a somewhat unique honor. The majority of 'locals' in Vegas are from far off lands, looking for gainful employment and the American dream. In fact, there are are almost 2 MILLION people living in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, making it the 28th most populous city in the entire United States. The 90s and early 2000s saw a boom in the population that later contributed to one of the worst housing busts of the US economic decline, with home prices dropping faster than most stripper's tops. The sad result of this is that there are brand new homes, neighborhoods and developments that have been left largely unoccupied (at least by humans). This creates a fascinating modern ghost town atmosphere that has been underutilized by Hollywood so far. For more information, check out this article; The Stunning Crash and Burn of Las Vegas by Michael Snyder.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The beginnings of a new adventure

I can confidently say that one of the things I adore most in life is traveling. From the pre-trip jitters, planning, and packing to the moment you feel the plane lift off the ground or the car hits the freeway, you know that an adventure is going to be had. This is why I've recently jumped head first into an opportunity that could take me far from my desert home all the way to Japan.

Why Japan?

I could wax poetic about anime (Samurai Champloo! Miyazaki! FLCL!), about food (takoyaki, okonomiyaki, kaku-ni, ramen, etc), about the eccentric clothing, architecture, cultural history and an ongoing list of other fascinations, but essentially; I believe it's important for everyone to live in a culture that's completely different from the one they grew up in, for some period, during their lifetime. Whether you study abroad, spend a summer working in Europe, or travel for a living, the perspective you gain when forced beyond your cultural comfort zone must be incredible.

I've spent practically my whole life living in Las Vegas. The arid desert landscape, wide highways, glittering strip; it's going to be quite different moving to a small, humid island nation. I'm used to extreme seasons but the humidity will be a new challenge. I've experienced humidity in Florida (central Florida during the summer is incredibly swampy), but we'll see. There's no denying that living just outside of Tokyo, in a city of 13 million compared to Vegas's measly 2 million residents will be quite a change of pace.

As of current, I've sent my paperwork to be processed by the company that's hired me. They'll be my sponsors, so now it's a waiting game. In the meantime, I have plenty to occupy myself with; will my phone/computer/electronics work? (Some may, some most likely won't) Will I be able to find clothing/shoes that fit me? (I'm over 5'9"!) Can I sell my car before I leave? What will I do with all my other stuff? All sorts of things are running through my mind. The contract I signed has me beginning on September 16th, which isn't far from now at all!

I'll update this blog often, focusing on specific details and aspects of my adventure as I work them out, so check back often! I hope to soon be sharing all sorts of fun, unique and eclectic observations about a country that's intrigued me since I was young. Hopefully you'll find the adventure as amusing as I will!